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    Prosecutors said if they do seek the death penalty for Brendt Christensen in the disappearance of UI visiting scholar Yingying Zhang, then it would be unreasonable to expect the defense to be ready by Feb. 27.

    Federal prosecutors are opposing a defense motion to delay the start of the trial for the man accused of kidnapping and murder in the June disappearance of University of Illinois scholar Yingying Zhang unless the government decides to seek the death penalty.

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    After more than nine hours of deliberations Thursday, jurors told Judge Heidi Ladd they could not agree on the guilt or innocence of Lincoln Johns, 21, of Chicago. Ladd declared a mistrial and continued the case to next week.

    CHAMPAIGN — After more than nine hours shut in a windowless room Thursday, a Champaign County jury told a judge it could not agree on the guilt or innocence of a Chicago man accused of the armed robbery of a Champaign man who answered an online sex ad.

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    The Champaign Historic Preservation Commission voted Tuesday to nominate the Bailey House at 606 W. Church St., the Burnham House at 603 W. Church and the Phillipe Mansion/McKinley Family YMCA at 500 W. Church for landmark designation.

    CHAMPAIGN — Preservationists have cleared the first of three hurdles needed to prevent the demolition of three properties in the way of a planned expansion of Champaign Central High School.

    Meanwhile, the Champaign school board has filed a formal protest to all three proposals, which significantly raises the bar for the last of the three hurdles.

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    The Graduate Employees Organization will head back to the bargaining table with the university next week.

    Members of the Graduate Employees Organization at the University of Illinois have authorized a strike in ongoing contract negotiations with the university's administration.

    The GEO announced the results of its strike-authorization vote Thursday night. Co-President Gus Wood said 93 percent of voting members approved a strike. He did not say how many people voted.

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's national security adviser says North Korea could be returned to the list of countries the U.S. believes sponsor terrorism, as part of Trump's strategy to counter the North's growing nuclear threat.

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    NEW YORK (AP) — The eight people killed in a truck driver's rampage were honored by friends and strangers with a walk down the riverfront esplanade where the victims died as both investigators and terror-weary New Yorkers tried to make sense of the crime.

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation providing five more years of financing for an expired children's health program moved near House passage on Friday. But a partisan battle over paying for the extension seems certain to delay the bill in the Senate and has each party accusing the other of jeopardizing a program that serves more than 8 million low-income children.

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he is "disappointed" with the Justice Department and won't rule out firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions if Sessions won't investigate Democrats.

    "Honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats," Trump told reporters before departing the White House on his 12-day trip to Asia.

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller's grand jury is investigating a prominent Democratic lobbyist and a former GOP congressman for their involvement in an influence campaign on behalf of Ukrainian interests tied to Paul Manafort, according to a person with direct knowledge of the investigation.

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    CHICAGO (AP) — A man was killed and two others, including a 12-year-old, were injured in a shooting in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood.

    Authorities say the shooting occurred at a Starbucks, where a man's body could be seen late Thursday through the shop's window.

    Police say the 12-year-old boy and a man were taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. services companies in October grew at the best rate in more than a dozen years.

    The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its services index rose last month to 60.1 from 59.8 in September. Any reading above 50 signals expansion. The October reading was the biggest since August 2005. The services sector has reported growth for 94 consecutive months.

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  • 11/03/17--12:00: Tom's #Mailbag, Nov. 3, 2017
  • This week's menu: beautifying the Country Fair area, a recycled pavement material in use in Urbana, an old tree in the middle of a farm field, Champaign firefighter mustaches, the Maryland "peace cross," a mailbag question gets some quick action and lots more. Oh yes, one more thing: Golden Corral is coming to Champaign.

    Got a question for our veteran columnist? Click here and ask away

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    Jawuan Gipson, 20, was found guilty of aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm but not guilty of armed robbery.

    URBANA — A Champaign County jury Friday convicted a Champaign man of firing a gun at a drug dealer, injuring him with flying glass, but acquitted him of robbing the dealer of cash.

    Jawuan Gipson, 20, of the 1000 block of Northwood Drive had been charged in connection with a Dec. 15, 2016, shooting in front of the Walmart on Broadmeadow Road in Rantoul.

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    Jane Quinlan was first elected to the position in 2006.

    CHAMPAIGN — Jane Quinlan, regional superintendent of schools for Champaign and Ford counties, said Friday that she will not run for another term in 2019.

    She said she plans to step down from her position on June 30, 2019, at the end of her current term.

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    Director of Public Safety Larry Thomason said detectives have recovered the remains of a person they believe to be Barbara Rose and are working with Vermilion County Coroner Jane McFadden to determine positive identification.

    DANVILLE — Police say they think they have found the body of a Danville woman whose boyfriend was charged Tuesday with her murder.

    Director of Public Safety Larry Thomason said early Wednesday, detectives recovered the remains of a person they believe to be Barbara Rose and are working with Vermilion County Coroner Jane McFadden to determine positive identification.

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    St. Thomas More is guaranteed to bring home the program’s first-ever state trophy next weekend after Friday night’s 25-20, 25-19 win against Aurora Christian in a Class 2A Seneca super-sectional match.

    SENECA — The journey will end at Redbird Arena for St. Thomas More volleyball.

    And that’s quite all right.

    STM made sure its season will conclude next weekend after the Sabers swept Aurora Christian 25-20, 25-19 on Friday night at the Class 2A Seneca Super-Sectional, sending STM to its first-ever state appearance.

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  • 11/04/17--04:00: Area history, Nov. 4, 2017
  • Today is Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Here are local news reports from 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

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    Today is Saturday, Nov. 4, the 308th day of 2017. There are 57 days left in the year. Daylight saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2 a.m.; clocks go back one hour.

    Today's highlight

    On Nov. 4, 1942, during World War II, Axis forces retreated from El Alamein in North Africa in a major victory for British forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Bernard Montgomery.

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    This is a big weekend for hairstylist Viv Wilson, who turns 70 on Monday. She'll celebrate her milestone birthday with family a day after marking her retirement from a 50-plus-year career.

    Savoy's VIV WILSON owes much of her success as a hairstylist to her cooperative younger sister, St. Joseph's BARB HORNER.

    "She was my guinea pig," Wilson said. "She eventually forgave me."

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    'As we approach the holiday season, we expect it to be our biggest quarter ever,' CEO Tim Cook told Wall Street analysts Thursday, adding that the company is increasing its production capacity every week.

    SAN FRANCISCO — Apple's iPhone X went on sale Friday, as the company scrambles to meet demand for a marquee device that sports a lush screen, facial-recognition skills and a $1,000 price tag.

    Most analysts have predicted Apple won't be able to catch up with demand until early next year.

    But the company is optimistic.

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